Thailand took on an unexpected twist 10 days before our flight left Paris. I get this panicked call from Robin during his weekly soccer game because some overexcited teammate of his (these guys all play with the aggressiveness of pro players, but with the skills of complete beginners), had sidelined him during the game and he twisted his ankle. He’s explaining to me that he can’t put any weight on it, it’s swelled to three times it’s normal size and he’s in excruciating pain. I’ll admit that my first thought sounded a bit like “you’ve got to be f*cking sh*tting me! We for sure didn’t check that travel insurance box so cancelling is really not an option. What’s the name of this Cristiano Ronaldo wannabe that ran you over?” But I managed to suppress my urge to rant and instead muttered something more along the lines of ” oh no honey, I’m so sorry. Do you want me to meet you at the emergency room?”
Fast forward to a week later and Robin has officially been on bed rest for 7 days. If you’ve had a partner on bed rest before, you can wholeheartedly sympathize with the new challenges I faced. If you’ve not yet experienced this hurdle, i’ll just say it’s an adjustment for both parties to say the least. To top it off, we still didn’t know if we could leave for Thailand because Robin’s doctor wanted to “wait and see” if anything was torn. Ahh, say what? You can’t tell if a ligament is torn by looking at his x-ray and ultrasound? As an American who is used to sterile & speedy medical care, his doctor’s lack of answer from his run down apartment-practice was slightly discerning. As a newlywed wanting to know if her honeymoon was going to be cancelled, this answer turned me real cray-cray.
We decided that Robin should push to get an appointment with a specialist three days before the flight for a second opinion and I would run around Paris doing final vacation errands and finishing up last minute work stuff as if we were leaving. I can shamefully admit that the stress brought out an unflattering side of me that I like to keep buried nice and deep and pretend doesn’t actually exist. But alas, a win! The specialist gave Robin the ok to travel as long as he promised to go directly to the hospital if he had any calf pain. We did a quick celebratory jingle with Robin’s crutches and hit up the local pharmacy for compression socks, a soft & hard splint, and enough medication to make Robin look like a drug addict to airport security. We shoved everything into our spankin’ new Decathlon backpacks and hobbled our way to the airport.
I’ve never traveled injured before, so I was genuinely astonished by how kind and accommodating everyone was. This is especially saying a lot for France, who’s level of service normally approaches a – 10 on a scale of 1 through 10. But Charles de Gaulle was on their best behavior with Robin’s ankle and we were zipped through all the first class check in, security & custom lines (oh to experience life like those 1%-ers) and we were even able to board our first flight early to get settled in. We not only felt super spoiled and so grateful for all the extra help, but we also felt an immense amount of compassion for people who are faced with these challenges on a permanent basis.
Our layover in New Delhi was a slightly different story. The Delhi airport has these amazing snooze chairs next to each gate that let you basically lay flat and take a cat nap before your flight. But seriously beware about getting too comfortable next to “your gate.” This airport should be nicknamed “the changing gates.” Every other announcement is another gate change for a different flight. Our flight alone changed three times within an hour. On a regular trip, it would have just been a little exasperating. With Robin on crutches, it was a damn comedy show. And no, they weren’t changing the gate to a couple of feet away. One of the changes was actually in a different terminal. This was virtually impossible for Robin to walk to in time, which meant I was running around breathlessly chanting “golf cart, golf cart” to any airport worker in earshot because we now risked missing the second flight. Needless to say, we found a golf cart and caught our flight on time. The icing on the cake was actually cruising to Bangkok in a row to ourselves. We had strategically chosen an aisle and a window seat praying nobody would want to reserve the middle seat. Our evil mastermind plan somehow worked and it was the only free seat in the plane! Final tip for all of you who have a layover in Delhi: there is no need to hit the gym before taking your flight. Just wear a solid pair of sneakers and lace them up real tight for the gate changes.
Stay tuned for more to come on our actual trip in Thailand 🙂